Yesterday, when ACC athletic directors voted to retain the conference’s “8+1” scheduling format - 8 conference games, plus one required game against a P5 opponent - Boston College athletic director Brad Bates says he voted for a switch to a 9-game conference schedule.
In an effort to improve the amount of quality games in advance of the launch of the ACC Network, the ACC pondered either a switch to 9 conference games or a requirement 2 P5 nonconference opponents.
Either of the latter two options would have meant more TV money from ESPN, but the ADs actually passed up the money in order to preserve this setup.
The drive to retain the status quo was led by the power programs, Clemson, Florida State and Louisville, who obviously benefit from the schedule flexibility and also have a guaranteed P5 game against a traditional SEC rival.
BC and some other schools aren’t so lucky, and need to go through the various hoops necessary to bring P5 opponents to campus - so it’s no surprise that BC would have no interest in voting for an 8+2 model.
A vote for 9 ACC games made sense for BC; Bates has expressed his desire to have more power-conference games on the home slate at Alumni but has suggested in previous interviews with BC Interruption that actually landing those opponents willing to schedule BC has proven challenging.
With the slate continuing at 8+1 and with the amount of free dates for P5 opponents dwindling as the other conferences expand to 9-game schedules, expect BC’s home slates to continue to be underwhelming.
We applaud Bates for voting in BC’s interest and for voting in a way that would have brought teams like Pitt, Miami and UVA to Alumni Stadium more often.